Matthew Fox is an American priest and spiritual theologian and an activist for gender and eco-justice. His work on creation spirituality and mysticism has given him the reputation of being one of the most challenging religious-spiritual teachers in America. It’s also got him into trouble with the Catholic Church, most notably for rubbing two popes up the wrong way, which eventually got him excommunicated.

We speak with Matthew about his latest book Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic-And Beyond, and ask him what this 14th Century mystic can teach us about what it means to live well in the midst of a global pandemic and climate meltdown.

Following the interview, Nomad hosts Tim Nash and Anna Robinson reflect on what Julian and mystics like her, might bring to their evolving faith.

Interview starts at 15m 47s

Image used with permission


Matthew Fox


Julian of Norwich: Wisdom in a Time of Pandemic-And Beyond

Showings Of Julian Of Norwich: A New Translation

A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action

A Spirituality Named Compassion: Uniting Mystical Awareness with Social Justice

Original Blessing: A Primer in Creation Spirituality


“I don’t think we could understand [Julian of Norwich] until the 21st Century – until nature was in such jeopardy as we have rendered it today. And a big reason for the eco-crisis…is that religion has abandoned nature for so many centuries in the West and has forgotten to teach the sacredness of nature and the wonder of it all; the very teachings that Julian has laid out so richly. So, we’re ready for her now.”

“A pandemic is too valuable to waste. There are lessons humanity has to learn and learn fast – lessons of wisdom, instead of just knowledge; lessons of compassion, instead of just competition.”

“The mystics are truth-tellers. They get to the heart of what real religions is supposed to be about. People are looking for experience of God, not for theologies and so forth, but experiences.”

“Even despair is a sign of hope, insofar as recognizing how time is running out. This is what gets us off the couch. I think many humans and our systems – our institutions – do not change until they have to. And clearly, we have to. Nothing’s working well today and we have to move out of this modern consciousness that is so solipsistic, narcissistic and human-centred into the real world, which is our relationship with all beings in their wonder and beauty. And there we find hope.”

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  1. John Griffiths Apr 19, 2021

    Great podcast which I found genuinely inspiring. However… I can’t help feeling (though without having read the book) that the book will be more about Matthew Fox than Lady Julian – but the podcast also put me onto Mirabai’s translation which is where I will start first. I think that opposition of creation vs redemption theology is highly significant where the church as an institution is falling on the side of redemption and the culture has gone the other way and redemption thinking won’t get us past Covid and the climate crisis. Really thought provoking – thank you.

  2. I am almost finished wit the entire episode – the intro, Matthew Fox interview and the closing discussion. I was particularly drawn to Tim’s sharing of his ‘mystical experience’ that involved the sense of smell. I had a similar experience, though not connected to the podcast. After an obedience, there seemed to be the smell of incense in the air around our fire pit. It was faint and I thought noting of it. My wife and I had to drive to the store so we left and came home about an hour later. When we got down from our vehicle the smell of incense was strong in other our front and back yards – it was the kind of incense smell one experiences during an Orthodox liturgy. We both smelled it for quite a while. I told of my experience to a friend who is a priest – and he told me simply that it was probably a confirmation of my obedience – but, how do we know? I guess there is no way to be sire of what took place – only that the experience was real. Anyway, thanks for the podcast – my interest has been expanded.

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